The clean energy industry had made a significant contribution to the U.S. job market’s historic growth streak. With renewable energy costs dropping, and interest and investments skyrocketing, renewable energy jobs are among the fastest growing in the country. With this shift toward a cleaner future, the American workforce is being introduced to new specialized training programs and career paths across geothermal, wind, water, solar, manufacturing and automobiles.
The U.S. renewable energy industry now employs more than 800,000 workers. Last year, solar created jobs at an astounding 17 times the rate of the national economy. The wind industry, which boasts more than 100,000 workers, was installing one new wind turbine every 2.4 hours in the last quarter alone
Here in Michigan, that growth is pushing the state ever more towards the clean energy goal of having 30 percent to 40 percent of its power coming from natural gas, renewable energy, and improved efficiencies by 2025! In 2016, the number of jobs in solar energy in Michigan nearly doubled, climbing to over 4,000. Michigan also ranks among the top 15 states for installed wind capacity and number of turbines.
In 2017 it is expected that the energy efficiency sector will see a 9 percent hiring rate, or about 198,000 new hires, by the end of the year. Here are some interesting facts to consider:
- Opportunity: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that wind turbine technician is the country’s fastest growing job title, and openings are expected to increase by 108 percent over the next decade.
- Salaries: In 2016, the average salary for a solar panel installer was $26 per hour. Wind turbine technicians earned an average of $21 per hour.
- Made in the USA: The U.S. is home to more than 500 factories that manufacture wind turbines and their components.
The future for careers in renewable energy has never been brighter. Want to learn more? →